Foods that prevent arthritis

Written by cindi pearce
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Foods that prevent arthritis
Arthritis (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Alejandro Perez)

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that causes pain and can limit movement. Combating arthritis pain means addressing the inflammation. You can take anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, but it also helps if you eat foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.

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Theories/Speculation

Dr. April Chang-Miller of the Mayo Clinic notes that more research needs to be done on the relationship between food and arthritis. At this point, Chang-Miller states that there is no definitive evidence that certain foods create inflammation; however, if you find, as an arthritic, that a particular food seems to be making you feel worse, eliminate it from your diet. She does note that fish oils and oranges may reduce inflammation in those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (or RA).

Differing Opinions

Arthritics should avoid foods that contain trans fats, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats because these foods will increase your inflammation and pain, according to Joy Bauer, RD.

Ideas

Incorporate extra virgin oil into your diet because it contains polyphenol, which is an antioxidant. Virgin oil will protect your body against inflammation. Both olive oil and fish oil appear to be beneficial to those suffering from inflammation that stems from arthritic disorders.

Other Considerations

We tend to forget that spices are an important part of our nutrition. Ginger and turmeric are derived from plant sources and have anti-inflammatory properties. However, keep in mind that ginger works as a blood thinner so don't eat it if you are taking anticoagulants. Curcumin is another name for the spice turmeric, which is the primary ingredient in yellow curry. Tumeric suppresses inflammatory chemicals.

Benefits

Eat black currants, elderberries, red and black grapes, strawberries, plums, blueberries, eggplants, cherries, boysenberries and raspberries because they contain proanthocyanidins and anthocyanidins, which are antioxidants that suppress inflammation. These foods also contain vitamin C, which backs off free radicals, which can cause inflammation and body tissue irritation, per Joy Bauer, RD.

Another Solution

You may find relief by consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids diminish inflammation by suppressing the production of enzymes and cytokines, which erode cartilage.

Potential

Try to get more vitamin C into your diet because it promotes the production of collagen, which is an integral component of cartilage. You can get vitamin C by eating sweet potatoes, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mangoes, white potatoes (including the skin), kidney beans, grapefruit, guava, yellow-, red- and green peppers and kohlrabi. However, there is evidence, according to researchers at Duke University, that high dose vitamin C supplements may make osteoarthritis worse. Ask your physician for her recommendation. Eat foods that contain carotene, which is a potent antioxidant. Consume carrots, mustard greens, pumpkin, apricots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sweet red pepper and spinach. These foods may actually prevent you from getting inflammation-related disorders in the first place.

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